Nieminen whips Wawrinka
Stockholm - Two-time finalist Jarkko Nieminen of Finland crushed a frustrated Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 to book a quarter-final spot at the Stockholm Open on Thursday, leaving the tournament without three of its top four seeds.
The exit of No 3 seed Wawrinka in 71 minutes followed the loss of fourth seed Juan Ignacio Chela, who was beaten by Bulgarian youngster Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
With the Wednesday defeat of second seed Juan Martin Del Potro in an opening match against American James Blake, French top seed Gael Monfils remains the last of the elite still in contention at the Kungligahallen.
Wawrinka, the world No 19, suffered another year of bad luck in the capital after losing a year ago in the quarter-finals to Swiss compatriot Roger Federer.
Wawrinka smashed a racquet near the end of his ordeal against Nieminen, a finalist in 2001 and 2006 and playing the event for the 12th consecutive year.
The 73rd-ranked Finn will compete in his second quarter-final in a month after Bangkok, facing one of two Germans, Tobias Kamke or qualifier Sebastian Rieschick.
Nieminen took victory with 22 winners and a dozen unforced errors, breaking Wawrinka three times. The Swiss fired 24 winners but annulled the effort with 21 errors.
Wawrinka had been bidding for his eighth quarter-final of the season.
Nieminen, once ranked 13th, had lost his previous nine matches against Top 20 players.
The Finn claimed victory after double-faulting on the first of three match points but coming good on his third chance as Wawrinka netted a backhand.
Dimitrov, a 20-year-old tipped for a top career, admitted to a lapse against Chela after leading a set and 2-0. "I started struggling a bit and he raised his game," said the Bulgarian, ranked 70th, after getting back on track.
Dimitrov will next face Canadian sixth seed Milos Raonic. "It will be a great match, I know him well and will have to be on my game."